Until I moved to North Carolina and met a guy who was into drinking local coffee, I never understood the difference in tastes. I was the girl who added too much sugar and creamer so you could barely taste the coffee. Then I was introduced to the Local North Carolina Coffee. Coffee shops in Raleigh are big on supporting local coffee roasters.
Reading the descriptions on the bag of coffee is the best way to narrow down what you like. The type of roast is going to be the first thing you want to look at. As coffee roasts get darker, they lose the origin flavors of the beans and take on more flavor from the roasting process. People generally think that the darker the roast, the more caffeine there is. The opposite is true–the lighter the roast, the more caffeine.
Counter Culture Coffee // Everytime I think I have finally tried every roast of Counter Culture Coffee I find a new one. Big Trouble is my go-to roast when making cold brew coffee. This Durham company has been expanding so rapidly that many local Raleigh coffee shops brew their coffee daily. Local grocery stores carry Counter Culter making it a household name.
Larry’s Beans // Larry’s Beans coffee is my boyfriends hands-down favorite. They recently opened a brick and mortar shop in downtown Raleigh. The Cowboy Blend has a deep, rich flavor to it. Imagine the type of coffee you would want on a camping trip. Larry’s Coffee can be found in many local shops with a wide variety.
Raleigh Coffee Co. // I first had a cup of coffee roasted by the Raleigh Coffee Co. at a downtown Raleigh coffee shop called BREW. My favorite roast is the Ethiopia Natural Koke. This light roast has notes of Strawberry and Blueberry. The smell of this coffee is divine. I usually add a slight bit of cream to lighten it up as enhances the flavor. Raleigh Coffee Co. also seeks to tell the story from where the beans originate to how they end up in your cup.
Lamplighter Coffee // The Yellow Dog Bread Co. in Downtown Raleigh roasts Lamplighter Coffee which pairs great with their baked goods on Sunday mornings. Their signature Tall Bike Blend is smooth and sweet with accents of baker’s cocoa and dark cherry. While I am not usually a big espresso fan, I do love their Swiftwalker Espresso. The unique flavor has notes of toffee, mango, and honey butter.
Full Bloom Roasters // If cold brew is your thing, then you need to try Cold Brew HoneyBrew. The energizing infusion of organic cold brew coffee and 100% pure honey will open your senses to a whole new world. Cold Brew coffee comes pretty standard with flavor. This blend will satisfy your sweet tooth and be your caffeine fix.
Carrborro Coffee // Travel through Saxpahaw, NC and you will stumble upon Carrborro Coffee. While they do not have as robust of a brand at the moment, go out of your way to track a bag down. Their Harvest Selection: Brasil Santa Amalia roast when brewed is one of the smoothest cups of coffees you will ever enjoy.
So the next time you stop through Raleigh and enjoy a cup of local North Carolina coffee. I can almost guarantee it will change the way you think about coffee.